Dear students, band directors, GNPDMA vets,


The George N. Parks Drum Major Academy has decided to CANCEL the remaining workshop at UMass, scheduled for July 25-29.

We hope that next summer, at whatever GNPDMA location you choose, we’ll get to hear about how you and your bands adapted, survived, and navigated this very strange time.

What we’re doing instead.

Since we cannot offer you the in-person experience that makes GNPDMA what it is, instead we are bringing you, free of charge, staff conversations in video form.

Samples of what you’ll find include:

It’s great stuff.  And it’s going to be online at our website and social media channels.

Check out the videos

This is not GNPDMA online.

A lot of what you hear and see will be through the eyes of the people that create the GNPDMA experience for you.

The GNPDMA workshop needs to be in person.  It’s worth the wait.

We look forward to sharing the full GNPDMA experience again with you next summer, 2021.

Please stay safe, stay healthy, and take good care of each other. We can’t wait to see you next summer.

We’ll miss you,
Jeanne Parks

Leadership is a defining quality.
We define it.

We inspire our students to lead, learn, and grow. And we do it by igniting a fire in our students, driving each of them to become their fullest self.

Every student is overflowing with potential, if you know how to help them reach it.

We build leaders.

Thank you all so so much for helping my dream of becoming a drum major come true...I love all of you so much ❤❤🎵

‎Emma HastingsPennsylvania

Thank you for an incredible experience for my daughter at KU! And for hosting such a great camp. My daughter has learned a lot and had a blast.

Cat PhillipsMaryland

Thank you Academy for giving me a great band season this year and for helping me along the way in getting to be drum major for my school next year!

‎Bryan Oudomsouk‎ Tennessee

Thank you all so much for this past week!! You all truly changed my life. I cannot wait to put what I learned into action. Thanks again!

‎Jacob GallagherNew Hampshire

DMA is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. I met so many amazing people and learned so much!

Heather HothamMassachusetts

I just recently came back from my first DMA experience and absolutely was blown away. The staff and IMPACT team members had such a positive impact on my life!

Grace SchellMissouri

We cover everything.
Here’s how.

Our curriculum has been perfected over our 4-decade history. We teach 4 core concepts of marching music leadership.

Every student receives personalized instruction & feedback, and practices teaching & commanding their peers—a key component of a successful Drum Major.

A full curriculum.


The days of “floor, door, window, ceiling” are long gone. Marching band conducting follows an established rubric.


We teach teaching: how to “clean” with the DMA procedure. Using marching basics, students learn observation & teaching skills.


Every Drum Major must understand when and how to give the proper commands. Effective communication is crucial.


Being a leader means going the extra mile. It’s raising your hand “as high as you can” and then raising it 2 inches higher.

We work with the best.
You can, too.

We’ve assembled a team of world class music educators over our 40-year history. Our workshops are taught by university professors and high school band directors.

Our staff bring their years and decades of experience to every one of our workshops. Our students get 1-on-1, hands-on training with music educators at the top of their field.

Learn from the best.

Heidi Sarver, DMA Lead Teacher.

Heidi Sarver

  • Professor of Music
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE

Leonard, John.

John Leonard

  • Faculty Specialist
  • Assistant Director of Bands
  • Western Michigan University

Katie McCarthy, DMA Lead Teacher.

Katie McCarthy

  • Band Director
  • Attleboro High School
  • Attleboro, MA

Kirk, Daniel.

Daniel Kirk

  • Director of Bands
  • Reinhart University

Justin McAdams, DMA Lead Teacher.

Justin McAdams

  • Band Director
  • Phoenixville Area High School
  • Phoenixville, PA

Evan Doyle

  • Band Director
  • Westborough High School
  • Westborough, MA

Sindorf, Trevor.

Trevor Sindorf

  • Band Director
  • Westfield High School
  • Westfield, NJ

All DMA Staff

The backbone of the Academy. Our staff has been changing young lives through leadership & music for decades.

Meet the Staff

We never stop teaching.
Learn from us.

No good educator ever wastes a chance to teach. Our staff has a wealth of knowledge, and we share it with the world in our blog.

We write articles and posts about how to be a better Drum Major. We dare you to learn something.

Free Drum Major resources.

Drum Major Academy Conducting on the field.
Jan 17, 2017

The Physics of Marching Band: Sound delay is a thing! Why selective hearing is a Drum Major’s best friend.

The best Drum Majors understand how sound delay affects their job, and they’re constantly working to compensate. In practical performance terms, this might be the hardest thing a Drum Major does.
Read More
Drum Major Academy Conducting.
Jan 17, 2017

How to Become Drum Major: 4 tips for a better Drum Major audition

Wondering how to become your school or ensemble's Drum Major? Here are 4 of the most important lessons you need for a better Drum Major audition. 1. The audition has already begun. Being a DM isn't about being impressive at the actual audition. There is a consideration of your cumulative contribution…
Read More
What makes a good drum major? 7 Things Every Drum Major Should Do.
Sep 30, 2016

What Makes a Good Drum Major? 7 Things Every DM Should Do

What makes a good drum major? Well, every band is unique, but most drum major positions need the same few skills. After 40 years of training intensely motivated drum majors across the United States and the world, here's what we've learned. Here are the 7 simple things every drum major should do.…
Read More